The Development Of Desire Essay Research Paper — страница 3

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a man of God, with this statement, ?…shall deliver himself to the Lord’s judgment.? (65) He vows to send Grendal to God for judgment on his evil deeds on earth. Beowulf as a warrior ,has two levels to his character; an upper level, of honor and religion, and a lower level of sheer emotion and power. Of these levels of Beowulf, we see the lower level dominates his personality with power and emotion dictating his actions and speeches, but later in life, as king, relies more on his religion and honor to dictate the judgment of what is right or wrong. No longer do the gods of Rome and Greek mythology dictate what is wrong or right, with offerings to appease the gods. With the knowledge in the warrior for what is, and will be, wrong, has an effect of making Beowulf an extension of

God. In all these acts of honor, Gods glory above all is sought. Sir Lancelot becomes the final touch to the evolution of the warrior. He is a warrior with all the attributes of the warriors before him. He has the skill of Odysseus with control of his emotions, thoughts, actions, and the same pure desire for something. He has the same honor, and belief in God’s guidance to what is right as Beowulf believed. Before Lancelot, the warriors all battled the likes of monsters, either from the will of the gods or monsters on their own mission. Lancelot is a man who has no battles with superhuman beings or arguments with gods, but a fight within himself and the fight for his desire. A man possessed, he risks pride, reputation, body, and soul, all for the return of love from his lady

Guinevere. His battles and stories are not all physical, as the previous warriors, but a mental triumph over the various tasks. Look at the ride in the cart and the battle within Lancelot to obtain the right decision on what to do: Woe that he did this, and woe that he was ashamed of the cart and so did not jump in at once, for he would later consider himself ill-fallen. Reason, which disagrees with Love, told him to refrain from climbing in and admonished and instructed him not to do or undertake anything that could bring him disgrace or reproach. Reason, which dared speak this way, spoke from his lips, but not from his heart. But Love, which was enclose in his heart, urged and commanded him to climb into the cart at once. Love achieved his desire. The knight leapt up without

concern for the disgrace because this was Love’s will and command (Beowulf 174). Lancelot battles between his heart and mind on what choice to make. Yet we see Love is much more powerful in his desire, or as he says, ?Love achieved his desire? (174). This is not the only case of such a battle in Lancelot, and it is not always over love. This tale of honor by Lancelot, who saves a maiden who holds a deed he does not want to fulfill. Before the night is long, the maiden is attacked and pleas for help from Lancelot who thinks: God what can I do? The object of my great pursuit is no one less than the Queen Guinevere. Having embarked on this quest for her, I must follow have the heart of a hare. If cowardice gives me her heart and I follow her rule, I shall never reach my goal. I am

disgraced if I stay here. Merely to have spoken of remaining brings deep shame onto me now. My heart is sad and dark… May God never have mercy on me if I speak with pride and would not rather die with honor than disgrace (de Troye 155). The story shows the honor that Lancelot has for what he believes is right by God, although he knows by saving her will only mean that he will still have to sleep with her, which he replies ?The object of my great pursuit is no less than Queen Guinevere? (155). Yet his feelings of honor takes hold and he goes on to save the lady of the castle, and feels horrible for his hesitation. This sense of honor even goes above Beowulf’s honor for what was Beowulf’s desire. Lancelot holds it as something he must do even if it is against his desire. This

is an attribute of the society of these times. The ideals of the society was that the knights would uphold honor above all other matters, even matters they disagreed with. Another aspect is this desire for courtly love with utter devotion to the admired and loved. Perhaps the most compelling aspect of Lancelot is the act in which he hears of the rumor that Guinevere is dead. He becomes so sorrowful that he proclaims: …My health is good, but you have struck me down. I am crushed, yet the sole pain I feel is the grief in my heart. This grief is an illness, indeed a fatal one, and I wish it to be fatal (de Troye 165), at this he attempts to commit suicide, and fails. This act is completely out of love for Guinevere for which he believes is over. The ?great pursuit? (155) for